Russell King claims to have received "extensive ongoing requests from members of the board asking for assistance" in selling Liverpool. King was the consultant who brought the "consortium of Middle Eastern and European investors" – and Sven-Goran Eriksson – to Notts County last year, and whose involvement caused the Football League not to pass the takeover as fit and proper.
Soon afterwards the entire club went into crisis, nearly collapsing under the £6m debt it ran up in little more than six months. Digger can reveal that King had previously been involved in Liverpool's search for investment from Dubai in 2006. He says he was asked to attend a meeting with a director of a company belonging to Sheikh Mohammed, the emir of Dubai. Subsequently, and in continuation of that meeting, King claims, the Liverpool board then pursued the aborted deal with Dubai International Capital.
Others familiar with the situation say Liverpool board members travelled out to meet him in Dubai in 2006 and that it quickly became clear he could not fulfill the promise of an introduction to the sheikh, whereupon they broke off contact. Now, claims King, the current board has been in touch. He said: "The board in no way broke contact and there are extensive ongoing requests from members of the board asking for assistance."
The board declined to comment last night but an insider in the sale process stressed King has no official involvement. However, given the increasing desperation of the situation, Digger would not put it past someone getting in touch to ask for help.